Kenyans anxious over South Sudan talks

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[Nairobi, Kenya, TCT] It was barely days after the second president of Kenya late Daniel Arap Moi was buried when news filtered in that the peace talks in South Sudan had hit a deadlock. The late Moi was among the most concerned African leaders with the peace and lasting stability for South Sudan, sending envoys over the years to negotiate and follow up on efforts to see the youngest democracy in Africa settle down.

[Nairobi, Kenya, TCT] It was barely days after the second president of Kenya late Daniel Arap Moi was buried when news filtered in that the peace talks in South Sudan had hit a deadlock. The late Moi was among the most concerned African leaders with the peace and lasting stability for South Sudan, sending envoys over the years to negotiate and follow up on efforts to see the youngest democracy in Africa settle down.

 

On Sunday February 16, 2020, an Aljazeera report indicated that Riek Machar has rejected the peace offer that South Sudan’s President Salva Kiir had proposed, dashing hopes of ending the conflict that has plagued the country for six years after its independence in 2011.

The two political leaders are under mounting international pressure to resolve their differences by the end of this week.

 

According to the peace deal that President Kiir offered opposition leader Machar, the country would be returned into 10 states, down from 32 that were created after the conflict of 2013 and 2016. This was a decision that Kiir termed as painful but necessary if it is to bring peace, as it was a demand of Machar. The President had increased the number of states in 2015 from 10 to 28, at the demand of Machar during the first attempt at a peace deal, then added four more to 32 states. Machar agreed to the decision to cut back the number of states back to 10. He however differed with the proposal to create three administrative areas, in Pibor, Ruweng and Abyei.

 

Pandora’s Box

“It cannot be referred to as 10 states and as such cannot be accepted,” wrote Machar in a statement cited by AFP News Agency. Dubbing it a Pandora’s box, he urged the President to reconsider the idea of creating the administrative areas, saying these would cause further problems.

 

Kenyans expressed impatience with the stalemate, with a number telling the media that all leaders in the region should announce their firm stand on matters of peace for the troubled South Sudan nation. International pressure by the USA and other nations continues to pile for Kiir and Machar to come up with a comprehensive peace agreement before the February 22, 2020 deadline.

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